The pitching line may not have been vintage Chris Sale, but the clubhouse meltdown was.
Sale, who's been recovering since February from a stress fracture in his rib, had his fourth rehab start Wednesday for the Red Sox's Triple-A affiliate in Worcester. Sale started out OK, but the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders got to him in the fourth. He allowed three soft singles and walked No. 9 hitter David Freitas to give up a run before he was pulled. Sale's final line: three hits, one earned run, five strikeouts, and five walks over 3.2 innings. That's not ideal when this outing was supposed to be the final piece of proof that he's ready to return to Boston.
It must have been a bit demoralizing for Sale to give up cheap hits to Greg Bird and Chris Owings, because even though he was permitted to throw 72 pitches in the outing (when he was expected to get the hook after 65), the one-time jersey-shredder was caught trashing part of the WooSox clubhouse. The video, apparently shot by the same people who filmed Bigfoot, makes it hard to tell what the target of Sale's anger was, but that lanky body is unmistakable. He delivered a few kicks before storming off.
Clearly the passion is there, even if the command isn't. After the game, a more subdued Sale admitted that he wasn't happy with his start. He did believe that the issues were "things that are easier to clean up, mechanically."
Oh, well, that's reassuring. While Sale's cleaning up, he can also pay for the shit he broke. Imagine being a minor-league player and having some rehabbing major-leaguer destroy the folding table your team uses for its sad pregame peanut butter sandwiches. You think Fenway Sports Group is going to shell out for a new one? Chris Sale needs to buy these guys the finest sandwich table on the market. Also, a party sub on top of that.
Update (4:50 p.m. ET): Sale said today that he wasn't proud of his "seven-year-old temper tantrum," and added that he will buy the WooSox a new TV and pay for all the damages. That's great, but an unexpected party sub would go a long way. Just saying.